Oregon State Nuclear Engineers Solve Looming Medical Isotope Shortage
When John Nuslein began experiencing chest pain, he contacted his doctor and underwent a round of tests. But the standard electrocardiogram and cardiac treadmill were inconclusive. It took a nuclear medicine stress test — a procedure in which a radioactive substance is injected into a vein — to visualize two blocked arteries in his heart. Since then, the 66-year-old man from Albany, Oregon, has undergone multiple heart procedures.
A Nuclear Bond
In January, Poland revived its nuclear-energy ambitions when the government pledged to build two nuclear reactors, bringing the first one online as soon as 2024. Oregon State University is a partner in realizing Poland’s new nuclear energy initiative.
As concern about climate change has grown, nuclear energy — long a polarizing subject — has gained increasing favorability. Its low carbon footprint, reliable power supply and strong safety record convinced many critics that nuclear power should be a bigger part of our energy mix.
Bridging the Nuclear Divide
Nothing could have prepared Linda Richards for her visit to the Navajo Nation in 1986. The landscape was littered with piles of uranium debris. Signs warning of radioactive contamination were hung on playgrounds and living areas. The water wasn’t safe to drink. Families were living in homes made of radioactive materials.
The Gamma and the Beta
Fast, accurate, affordable detection of radiation — whether it’s from Japan’s damaged Fukushima plant, long-buried waste at Hanford’s WWII weapons site, or secret underground testing by rogue nations — is a pressing need internationally.